To me, we’ve all clearly moved past the Reputation Management phase: Now, it’s “Reputation MARKETING”. Before I explain that, let’s talk about where we have been so far with Reputation Management.
Reputation Management is the ability to monitor and defend your online reputation. And, although folks gaming the system have been rightly and roundly condemned, some companies still try and sell some type of “review ballot-box stuffing” service much like Black Hat SEO companies still try and sell their schtick. I think we all know, or can learn now, however, how to get the best reviews ourselves from our customers. And, SURPRISE, they can do the review at the dealership. I see it done every day, even for Google Places. In my case, Presto Reviews (which we still use) taught me that.
Reputation Marketing, as they say, “begins at home”: Are you pressing folks to your review sites and your Google Places throughout your media efforts? Does your print point to the review site, does your TV/radio mention it, and are you making efforts on your website, review site, and Google Places to show videos, pics, and positive customer reviews? And do all your email efforts—from responding to Internet Leads to email blasts—have a link to all your best online reputation? Finally, but more importantly than you realize, are you marketing your reputation to your social media like Facebook? Do you capture short videos of happy customers to share?
So, put your reviews on your social media and website. Blog about them. Talk about them in your print, TV, Radio, and email efforts. Marketing makes online and store traffic through hope-inducing advertising—REPUTATION Marketing makes you and your advertising look REAL to your shoppers. After all, other real customers said real things about you.
We will all still certainly manage to a positive reputation, but to get "bang for the buck" we must now MARKET the result. Don’t just let your online reputation sit there to be found as part of an SEO strategy, advertise it! Blow your horn, folks, and let it be known: NOBODY in your market sells better or treats customers better.
And Reputation Marketing will make sure everyone knows that.
by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2011